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Electrician’s guilty plea over report signing off unsatisfactory electrics

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A PEMBROKESHIRE electrician has pleaded guilty to supplying a report claiming the electrics in a household property were satisfactory when they were not.

The case was brought by Pembrokeshire County Council Trading Standards and heard by Judge Huw Rees at Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court on Monday 20th September 2021.

Mark Cummins trading as M C Electrics from Haverfordwest was commissioned by the vendor of a Milford Haven property in November 2018 to inspect and issue a condition report of the electrics in the property.

The Court heard that Mr Cummins took less than an hour to do the inspection and issued an Electrical Installation Condition Report to the vendor the same day, containing the written statement describing the electrics in the property as “satisfactory”.

He told the vendor a light fitting in the downstairs utility and shower room needed to be replaced but his report did not list any concerns despite estimating the electrics to be 40 years old. He charged the vendor for the report.

In January 2019 the property was sold to the current owner Nia Evans.

Ms Evans later contracted local electrician John Morley to install additional wall sockets prior to moving in.

After a visual inspection and conducting some tests, Mr Morley concluded that the electrics were unsatisfactory, advising of a complete re-wire and to report the matter to STROMA, the certification body of which Mr Cummins was a member at the time.

Pembrokeshire Trading Standards arranged for Matthew Williams, a Council electrician, to carry out an inspection of the electrics at the property in July 2019.

His detailed report also concluded that the installation was unsatisfactory. Ms Evans has consequently still not moved in to the property.

Mr Cummins pleaded guilty to an offence under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 of engaging in a commercial practice which was misleading action, by describing the general condition of the electrical installation of a property as satisfactory which was untruthful.

He was fined £1,500 and ordered to pay £1000 contribution towards costs and £100 statutory surcharge payment.

The Judge also commended the local authority for the way it approached the case.

Sandra McSparron, Pembrokeshire County Council Lead Trading Standards Officer, said: “Homeowners and buyers put their faith in the services of electricians and other professionals to deliver accurate and truthful reports, in order to make important and informed decisions. Mr Cummins report was a key factor in the decision to purchase in this case.

“I am concerned that subsequent reports identified potentially serious non compliances in the property.

“I hope this prosecution sends a message out to all traders in these fields. I would like to express gratitude to all the witnesses for their assistance.”

Cllr Cris Tomos, the Council Cabinet Member for Public Protection commended everyone involved for bringing the case to court.

“When members of the public request the input of professionals they deserve to be able to rely on the information received.

“This is even more important particularly when dealing with potentially hazardous situations such as unsatisfactory electrics.

“I am pleased that the Authority was able to see this case through to a successful prosecution and would like to underline our gratitude to the witnesses.”

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Fishguard RNLI launch to attend injured fisherman 13 miles offshore

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FISHGUARD’s RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat launched early on Monday (Jan 17), with a full volunteer crew, to rendezvous with an Irish scalloper fishing boat which had an injured crew member aboard. The 14-metre fishing boat ‘ Golden Fleece’ had requested assistance by making radio contact with HM Coastguard. 

The lifeboat launched at 7.30am in calm conditions and headed to the fishing boat positioned approximately 13 miles north of Cemaes Head. Once on location the injured fisherman, who had suffered a significant finger injury, was transferred to the lifeboat. No further medical assistance was necessary from the lifeboat crew but he was kept under observation during the return journey to Fishguard where he was transferred to an awaiting ambulance upon arrival at 8.30am.   

 

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Brains’ £100 million sell-off plan includes local pubs in Pembrokeshire

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SA BRAINs is close to completing a £100m deal which will see the sale of 100 Wales pubs, including Pembrokeshire locals, it has been reported.

It is reported that Wales most prominent brewers will sell the freeholds to 100 of it’s pubs to a consortium.

Brains currently has a portfolio of 200 pubs across Wales and the South West.

Sources within the pub industry said that the transaction could be signed in the next few days.

The deal is to be made with Song Capital and Cerberus Capital Management, the former owner of Admiral Taverns.

The deal, which is thought to be around the £100m mark, is expected to be used by the Brains’ family shareholders to pay down debt.

The hospitality sector has been hit severely by the Coronavirus pandemic, being forced to close for long periods at a time and then reopening with strict restrictions.

In 2020, Brains struck a deal with Marston’s to operate 141 of its pubs, under the Welsh brewers brand, following financial pressures of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Six Pembrokeshire pubs are earmarked to be included in the transaction; The Ferry Inn, St Dogmaels, Crown Inn, Tenby, Grove Hotel, Narberth, Waterman’s Arms, Pembroke, Harbour Inn, Solva and The Galleon, Broad Haven.

The sale will see the Brains pub estate as a family-owned brewer with a small residual pub portfolio.

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St Clears’ McDonald’s opening delayed for a week

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McDonald's sign

THE OPENING of the new 100-seater McDonald’s in St Clears has been delayed by a week. 

The restaurant, which will be built along the main approach road to Pembrokeshire, aimed to open its doors on Wednesday, January 19. 

However, the company has confirmed that the opening has been postponed until Wednesday, January 26. 

The new McDonald’s will join Haverfordwest and Pembroke Dock McDonald’s as the only members of the company located west of Carmarthen. 

It hoped to provide over 80 full and part time jobs due to being open around the clock. They hosted a recruitment day in December 2021. 

The original applications had previously stated that the McDonald’s would be open 24 hours a day. A premises licence application is currently being made to the County Council for the “provision of late-night refreshments” which, if accepted, would allow the restaurant to be open 24 hours a day.

It will open on the opposite side of the road to Travelodge and Starbucks, which replaced the Little Chef restaurant in 2017.

The restaurant was initially going to include a separate building which would have accommodated a Costa Coffee. However, it will now host a Greggs. 

Alongside this, planning permission has been granted separately for a petrol station with six electric charging points.

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